PITTSFIELD -- A Guatemalan man living in Pittsfield is being held without bail for allegedly abusing a woman to the point she nearly died.
Winston Perez, 22, had not guilty pleas entered on his behalf to three felonies and two misdemeanors during his arraignment on Monday in Central Berkshire District Court.
According to a Pittsfield police report, a 48-year-old woman described as Perez's girlfriend said he abused her on and off for months. He punched her in the head, kicked her in the stomach, threatened to chop her into pieces and pour acid on her, and prevented her from seeking medical attention, she told police.
The woman was rushed to the hospital on Dec. 31, after she nearly passed out on North Street from stomach pain. At Berkshire Medical Center, she underwent emergency surgery for internal abdominal bleeding and could have died from the injury, according to a police report.
When the woman was brought to the hospital, Perez showed up. He told staff he was the woman's husband and erased pictures from her phone showing the woman's bruises from an earlier beating, and took about $200 from her wallet, police said.
The woman said Perez had kicked her repeatedly in the stomach in October. For months afterward, she suffered from severe stomach pain, but was kept from the hospital by Perez who instead fed her painkillers, she told police.
Over the course of several weeks during her recovery from surgery, the woman, who only speaks Spanish, began confiding what had happened to medical staff who contacted police.
The woman, who will be living in an undisclosed location during court proceedings, said she is afraid for her life, according to the report.
The woman told police she would sometimes sleep outdoors for fear that Perez would kill her in her sleep.
She felt isolated because she had no relatives nearby and didn't speak English, she told them.
The police investigation began on Jan. 10. Perez was arrested the next afternoon at the Berkshire Mall by Pittsfield Police with the assistance of a Lanesborough Police officer.
Perez was held in jail over the weekend on charges of aggravated assault and battery, assault and battery with a dangerous weapon (shod foot), witness intimidation, threat to commit murder, and assault and battery.
On Monday, attorney David C. Cafarelli agreed to have his client held pending a dangerousness hearing on Wednesday when a Spanish language interpreter will be available. If found to be dangerous, Perez could be held for up to 90 days without bail.
A federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement "hold" has also been filed against Perez, meaning that the agency will take control of the defendant for possible deportation proceedings following the results of his criminal case.